47 finds what is left of the client's daughter in "The Meat King's Party" from Hitman: Contracts. 8Bit/Digi

A Nightmare Seen Through the Eyes of Mr. 47

As the season of fear continues, let us take a break from horror games and instead focus on a horror moment. In the past, I’ve talked about “The Meat King’s Party” from Hitman: Contracts. You go in thinking it’s another job but you walk away having seen some unspeakable horrors. It’s the classic Hitman lore mixed with the elements of a slasher film. 

Not every iconic moment of games horror has come from a horror game. “The Meat King’s Party” from Hitman: Contracts is a great example of this as it has all the elements of a work of horror but it’s not a horror game. Gamers Nightmare will now look back at when 47 goes up against a vicious murder and how it was a defining moment in the series. 

The Meat King’s Party 

The Meat King’s Party is the second mission in Hitman: Contracts. A client’s daughter has been kidnapped and Campbell Sturrock (better known as the Meat King) was the prime suspect. Thanks to a few paid bribes by Andrei Puscus (the Meat King’s lawyer), all charges were dropped. With no help from the legal system, the client has enlisted the help of the ICA.

Mr. 47 is tasked with rescuing the client’s daughter (if possible) while also taking out Campbell Sturrock and Andrei Puscus. To achieve this, 47 will infiltrate the victory party (a BDSM party being hosted at a meat processing factory). Inside, he will use whatever means necessary to dispose of the targets. 

When it comes to rescuing the clients’ daughter that the real terror begins. 47 finds her in a dimly lit room on the second floor of the plant. The room is decorated with air fresheners, distributing messages and blood splatter. All that is left of the clients’ daughter is her body strung up and mutilated with the eyes gouged. Adding to an already disturbing moment is the encounter with the real killer, Malcolm Sturrock.

Malcolm Sturrock is the Meat King’s brother and the classic monster encountered in every slasher film. Tall and brutal while wearing nothing more than a shirt and underwear while covered in a bloody apron. Even more, horrifying is his behavior with the body (if he doesn’t spot 47). Even though not a target, players are given the option to take out Malcolm (doing so will not affect the Silent Assassin score). Regardless, the objective doesn’t change and only a severed hand could be recovered as proof for the client.

This may have been just a job for Mr. 47, but the horrors encountered in that room is one nobody will ever forget. 

47 finds what is left of the client's daughter and takes out the killer in "The Meat King's Party" from Hitman: Contracts. 8Bit/Digi

Traditions of the Trade

Hitman: Contracts was both a sequel and a remake of Hitman: Codename 47. It was also a radical departure in tone as it embraced a setting that is dark and more gritty. Its recreation of “Meet Your Brother” was only a sample of what was to come. “The Meat King’s Party” basically let players know that this is not the same game they had previously experienced. 

Looking back now, this was to be expected. Thanks to Grand Theft Auto III, studios were embracing more mature themes while others wanted to get gritty. The success of Manhunt in 2003 was also an inspiration for so many to embrace the dark side of human nature. Hitman: Contracts was one title that followed suit and it would have a profound impact on the series. Blood Money would follow its example while The World of Assassination trilogy would borrow elements from this entry. 

Also making this moment memorable is you have two stone-cold killers going up against each other. You have 47, the perfect assassin who only kills (with precision) because it’s the job. On the other side is Malcolm Sturrock, a brute who kills (very sloppy) for fun. Going up against killers is not for our hero, this is the first time dealing with one defined by their horrors rather than skill. Remember that Sturrock presents no real threat to 47 (he is amateur at best). It’s the environment he has created and the monster he is that makes him memorable.

47 finds what is left of the client's daughter in "The Meat King's Party" from Hitman: Contracts. 8Bit/Digi

Hunter and Hunted

Horror doesn’t always have to be limited to a horror game and “The Meat King’s Party” from Hitman: Contracts is a great example. It’s not a horror game but it has all the hallmarks of one when it comes to this assignment. Players go in thinking it’s just another job, they walk out having witnessed something out of a slasher film. 

Did you ever play Hitman: Contracts and what are your thoughts on it? Let us know in the comment section. 

8Bit/Digi is an independent media outlet that provides an insight into the video game community and industry of the San Francisco Bay Area.

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